UniPID – Finnish University Partnership for International Development

UniPID is a network of Finnish universities to strengthen universities’ global responsibility. Through institutional cooperation, UniPID advances the interdisciplinary education, research and societal impact of universities on global development. The UniPID network is funded by member university fees and with external funding for its different projects. The network is coordinated at the Department of Social Sciences and Philosophy of the University of Jyväskylä.


UniPID coordinates and funds a joint virtual studies minor programme in sustainable development and encourages studies and specialization in the field also by awarding a yearly Master’s award in Development Studies. In addition, UniPID promotes the integration of asylum seekers and refugees in Finnish higher education.

UniPID advances partnerships between researchers and institutions specialized in global challenges. UniPID supports researchers’ participation in international research projects and awards grants for and organizes seminars relating to global challenges.  In addition, through the DocNet initiative, UniPID supports the interdisciplinary training and networking of development studies doctoral students in Finland.

UniPID promotes science-based policymaking and highlights the importance of higher education and research in facing global challenges. The network promotes and applies the expertise of its member universities by facilitating researchers’ contribution to development and higher education policy, as well as to the national and international research agenda and funding priorities.

UniPID’s ongoing externally funded projects:

FinCEAL Plus is a continuation and an expansion of the FinCEAL initiative funded by Finnish Ministry of Education and Culture and implemented by UniPID since 2013. The project's aims are to increase the impact of Finnish experts in the bilateral EU-Africa, EU-Asia and EU-CELAC science, technology and innovation (STI) policy dialogues; and to increase Finnish participation in the Horizon 2020 programme.

The project focuses on supporting Finnish research and innovation under the thematic areas defined in the bi-regional STI dialogues:

  • Africa – Food and nutrition security and sustainable agriculture , Health, Climate Change, Renewable energy, ICT, Space, and Transport;
  • Asia – Health, Food Security and Safety, Renewable energy, Water Management, Cleantech, Nanotechnology, and ICT;
  • Latin America and the Caribbean – ICT for societal challenges, Bioeconomy, Renewable Energy, Health, Biodiversity and Climate Change.

CAAST-Net Plus (Advancing sub-Saharan Africa-EU Cooperation in Research and Innovation for Global Challenges) is an FP7 project, which aims to encourage more and better bi-regional STI cooperation for enhanced outcomes around topics of mutual interest, and particularly in relation to global societal challenges of food security, climate change, and health.

Research and Innovation Network for Europe and Africa (RINEA) is a research and innovation network which aims to reinforce and enrich the Africa-EU partnership in Science, Technology and Innovation (STI). The role of UniPID in RINEA encompasses brokering new research networks and partnerships and mobilizing programme owners. RINEA hopes to support Africa-EU cooperation in the field of STI through:

  • strengthening the quality and quantity of partnerships between research and innovation actors in EU Member States, in Associated Countries and in countries in Africa;
  • encouraging transnational coordination of programmes and policies for international cooperation in STI for greater coherence, joint ownership and resource efficiency;
  • supporting and enriching formal and informal processes of bi-regional STI policy dialogue between the EU and Africa.

A Long-Term EU-Africa Research and Innovation Partnership on Food and Nutrition Security and Sustainable Agriculture (LEAP-Agri) is a Horizon 2020 project, creating a research and innovation partnership for food and nutrition security and sustainable agriculture, including aquaculture (FNSSA). The partnership is an ERA-NET co-fund, providing funding for collaborative research projects from participating countries with additional finances from the European Commission. The project supports the EU-Africa High Level Policy Dialogue on Science, Technology, and Innovation (STI) and the implementation of the jointly funded EU-Africa Research and Innovation Partnership. The role of UniPID is to support the development of a long-term research agenda for FNSSA on which LEAP-Agri could foresee future joint calls.

Unipid_laiturilla.jpgJarkko Mutanen (ISY/UEF), Eva Kagiri, Osku Haapasaari, Melissa Plath, Kajsa Ekroos (HY/UH) and Johanna Kivimäki